The 2024 Beef Welfare Scheme (BWS) is to open in early August, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said.

Announcing details of the scheme, Minister McConalogue confirmed that with a budget of €20m, the scheme will have a mandatory meal feeling action and an optional vaccination action.

“This scheme is worth €20m in additional income to suckler farmers. When coupled with the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), participants in the BWS will be eligible for €200 per cow-calf pair for the first 22 pairs,” he said.

The Minister confirmed that, in line with previous schemes, eligible calves will be those born to eligible suckler cows from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.


“This scheme will consist of two measures aimed at improving on-farm efficiency. Namely a mandatory meal feeding action and an optional vaccination action.

“Farmers can select the second action where they wish to improve overall herd health on their holdings,” Minister McConalogue said.

The 2024 BWS will support farmers in meal feeding suckler calves before and after weaning and in vaccinating against clostridial diseases and calf pneumonia.

The meal feeding action is mandatory for scheme participants, while farmers must indicate that they are selecting the optional vaccination action at application stage if they wish to be considered for payment under this action.

Farmers can then decide during the implementation phase, where appropriate in consultation with their veterinary surgeon, which disease they wish to target depending on the health status of their herds.